West Ham United might be the joint-top goalscorers in the Barclays Premier League so far this season, but it was on their defence that Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Manchester City was built.
The table-topping Citizens boasted 72 percent possession and unleashed 27 shots on the Hammers goal, but only found the net once – and that after scoring eleven times in their first five league games of the season.
Much of that was down to an heroic defensive display from the Hammers – particularly after the interval, when City had 17 of their attempts on goal.
West Ham managed to block eight of those 17, helping out Adrian as much as they could before he was forced to make excellent saves from the likes of Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi.
Nobody was more influential in that rearguard action than the outstanding Winston Reid, who made four blocks, four interceptions and 21 clearances.
In addition he came out on top in four aerial duels, and won two tackles, all adding up to a defensive masterclass which ensured first half goals from Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho gave West Ham a memorable victory.
WhoScored.com’s statistical analysis had Reid as the Hammers’ top performer, with a rating of 8.2 and only City’s Kevin De Bruyne – with 8.4 – scored more highly.
The Kiwi’s display was duly noted by many pundits and his tally of 21 clearances is more than any other player in a single game this season.
West Ham may have been under the cosh for most of Saturday’s game, but with the help of Reid and his defensive colleagues, they saw the job through.
See more stats and analyse the game for yourself in our Match Centre here.